Thursday, December 28, 2006

Pazz and Jop Comments

The contents of my ballot were never in doubt (exactly as they appeared in last week's posts), but there was still the matter of assigning points to albums. I went with a fairly unconventional ranking system this year: 25, 20, 13, 12, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5. Normally I would strongly object to six-way ties, since it's supposed to be a ranked list and all, but it's a transitional year for P&J so I figured I'd break away from my normal habits. Most years, the top four or five albums rank far ahead of the pack, and in turn, the top one or two albums crush the rest of the top five. This year was no exception and I decided to reflect it in the rankings. In 2005 I finished in the bottom 25% in Glenn McDonald's critical alignment ratings and this year I'm probably looking at single digits, so in some sense the only intelligent thing for me to do is to vote strategically if I want my ballot to have any impact. Lord only knows who is planning to vote this year, so why not throw some large numbers at the records at the top of my list?

Boris' votes will probably go to "Pink", but I thought the world of "Altar", so sue me. Charalambides' "A Vintage Burden" will get a handful of Keith's votes ("those who like it, like it a lot"), such as mine. Bardo Pond will be nowhere -- perhaps I can have pride in being the only person in the history of P&J to award 25 points to Bardo Pond? Yo La Tengo should easily land in the top 30-40 overall, outpacing every other album on my list by at least 100 spots, by my estimate. "Orchestra of Bubbles" might have an outside shot at a surprise top 100 finish, but it really depends who bothers to vote this year.

I considered reneging on my promise to not submit comments this year, and ended up musing over three options. 1) No comments. 2) One short blurb about Jesu's "Silver". 3) Submitting a slate of comments at a grade two writing level, in order to poke fun at the VV's new editorial direction, i.e. "'Maneater' is a fun song and I like it a lot. It's good for dancing. My friends also like it. We also like 'Fizheuer Zieheuer'. It's got a cool beat and stuff. Everybody loves it, even my dad."

Option 3 would actually require attention on my part. Same goes for Option 2, which would also go against some of the principles I laid out in my earlier post. Option 1 allows me to write and think about the myriad of other things I have on my mind, and therefore appears to be my most likely choice, not the mention the one that requires the least amount of effort.

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